Saab entertains offers for tech swaps

Automotive News reports on Saab's plans to incorporate technology from other companies.

Auto Tech

GENEVA--Saab is in talks with up to a half dozen automakers on sharing technology on future models, Spyker CEO Victor Muller told Automotive News Europe.

"We have been approached by five to six OEMs who are interested in becoming our technology partners," Muller said on the sidelines of the Geneva auto show this month.

The 50-year-old Dutchman declined to name the potential partners but did say that Saab is talking with "some German brands." A separate source familiar with the company said Volkswagen AG and its premium unit, Audi, are not among those involved in the current talks.

Muller's Spyker Cars NV, of the Netherlands, a maker of luxury sports cars, completed the purchase of Saab from General Motors Co. late last month. Saab's production- and intellectual-property-sharing agreements with GM last through the introduction of the new 9-3 premium compact line in 2012.

After the GM deal was announced, Saab CEO Jan Ake Jonsson said: "We have the flexibility to go outside General Motors if we desire. The next-generation 9-3 is the first chance to, for example, introduce a new engine from the other suppliers that are out there."

At the Geneva auto show, Muller said: "That's the beauty of being independent." He said the potential cooperation could involve engines, components or platforms but stressed that it is "far too early to say anything sensible about it."

"It is not possible to change engines, platforms and so on in the middle of a vehicle's life cycle," Muller said. "But for the next 9-3 in two years' time, that could make more sense."

(Source: Automotive News)

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